Dublin-based company AYLIEN has harnessed AI to create a data analytics solution

Trish Dromey looks at Dublin-based company AYLIEN, which has harnessed AI to create a data analytics solution
Dublin-based company AYLIEN has harnessed AI to create a data analytics solution

Dublin company AYLIEN has used artificial intelligence to create a data analytics solution which can be used to make sense of the exponentially expanding volume of information on the web.

Launched in 2014, its text analysis product has been devised to summarise massive quantities of data, to classify, extract names or subjects, and even to determine whether the content is positive or negative.

“It can analyse and process millions of pieces of text in milliseconds, allowing companies to extract meaning and insights which can be used in a variety of different ways,” says company founder and CEO Parsa Ghaffari.

Targeting the content analytics market now worth $10bn (€8.95bn) and set to grow to $15bn in 2019, AYLIEN is one of a small number of companies specialising in this space in Europe, and the only one in Ireland.

The demand for this type of solution is being driven by the growing volume of internet data — now thought to have reached 4.8bn pages.

“It is estimated that volume of new content being added every 24 hours could not be read in a human lifetime,’’ observes Mr Ghaffari.

Selling mainly to news organisations and publishers in the US and Canada, AYLIEN aims to establish itself as a major player in the content analytics space.

Its name was chosen as a humorous reference to the associations between artificial intelligence and aliens.

Currently employing a staff of 12, the company is now making plans to fundraise with a view to opening a sales office in the US.

Mr Ghaffari originally set his company up in Iran in 2011 but moved it to China to participate in an accelerator programme backed by Cork company SOS Ventures.

Identifying a need to relocate to Europe or the US, Mr Ghaffari was attracted to Ireland by the Enterprise Ireland backed Startup Entrepreneur Visa programme for foreign entrepreneurs.

In October 2012, AYLIEN set up in Dublin with a staff of three.

By the time the product launched in 2014 the staff size had doubled.

“We began by selling to companies mostly in the news space such as news reader applications and publishers,” he says, explaining that it first offers free trials and subsequently charges monthly subscription fees.

By the end of 2015, AYLIEN has surpassed 10,000 subscribers on its platform.

A major milestone was a partnership with US data analytics company RapidMiner which now offers the AYLIEN solution as a plug in on its platform.

”This was a major boost and brought in 4,000 new subscribers,” says Mr Ghaffari, who achieved another coup at the start of the year by signing up Sony as a customer.

Competition in the content analytics space comes mainly from large global organisations such as IBM and SAP.

Mr Ghaffari says that AYLIEN can compete effectively because “it has a more advanced technology, is more feature rich and, above all, is more accessible than traditional products in this space.’’

To date, the company has raised US $700,000 with the lion’s share coming from SOS Ventures in Cork.

Plans for 2016 include the launch of a new product which, in addition to processing and analysing data, will also source it.

As well as selling to news companies and publishers, AYLIEN also sells to brands and PR companies which use the application to find out what influencers and consumers are talking about online.

Marketing companies also use it to determine which websites and pages are mos t suitable for ads, said Mr Ghaffari.

The aim for 2016 is to achieve a turnover of over €1.5m and to grow this to €3m by 2017.

In the long term, AYLIEN’s goal is to achieve global recognition as the go-to platform for content analytics.

Company: Aylien

Location: Dublin

Set up: 2011

CEO: Parsa Ghaffari

Staff: 12

Business: Content analytics

Website: www.aylien.com

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